Mike Cipoletti graduated from Northport High School in Northport, New York, in 1995. Mike was an active member of Students for 60,000, a service organization founded when 60,000 was the number of homeless living on the streets of Manhattan. Inspired by this early work, Mike carried on as a member of Friends for Students of 60,000 while an undergraduate at Stonehill College in Easton, Massachussetts, and made his first trip to Nicaragua in August of 1996. This trip proved to be a life-changing experience. Mike brought the Nicaragua Project to Stonehill, recruiting other students, raising funds and leading trips to the country to work on a variety of development projects.
While at Stonehill, Mike forged a life-long friendship with another student and future FNE board member, Anna DeSousa. It was Anna who introduced Mike to the rest of the FNE team, inviting him to Haiti along with Mo and Wadson in November of 2010. Mike had previously visited Haiti shortly after the 2010 earthquake and had been looking for an opportunity to get involved. Le College Mixte de l’Experience proved to be just that opportunity. Moved by his trip with Anna, Mo and Wadson, Mike suggested a partnership in which the emerging work in Haiti could be tied in with and benefit from his years of experience working in Nicaragua. A few short months later, FriendsNE was born!
Mike continues to work with area colleges and universities to support the people of Nicaragua and Haiti. He travels to Nicaragua every month.
You can reach Mike at ikecip@FriendsNE.org